Who can forget the GIFs of the ‘90s, or the more up-to-date focus on flat design?
Recently, we’ve seen a surge in popularity of responsive web design, as more and more sites join the drive to become ‘mobile ready’ which is now even more important in the wake of Google’s Mobile Friendly update.
Let’s examine some of the most popular for this and the coming year.
1. The Proliferation of UI Patterns
One of the side effects of responsive design has meant that a lot of sites look similar. However, responsive design isn’t solely to blame. The rise of WordPress sites and the booming theme market also have a hand in it.
And some folks, such as Matthew Monbre, have copped to being guilty of following everyone else’s look with his company’s site.
But having a similar look isn’t necessarily a bad thing. That’s because we’ve changed the way we consume the web, which has resulted in a lot of common UI design patterns. Design patterns have matured and as such, there’s little in the way of innovation when it comes to UI patterns.
In other words, a checkout will still be a checkout and should function as such. Same with a login model. There’s no real reason to reinvent the wheel. UI patterns must guide users through a smooth experience.
Here’s a few patterns you should be familiar with:
-The hamburger menu: While some criticize this pattern’s use, there’s no doubt that it’s widespread use makes the function easily recognizable for users.
Want to ensure that visitors will exit your website almost immediately after landing there? Be sure to make it difficult for them to find what it is they are looking for. Want to get people to stay on your website longer and click on or buy stuff? Follow these 13 Web design tips.
“Your logo is an important part of your brand, so make sure it’s located prominently on your site,” says Tiffany Monhollon, senior content marketing manager at online marketer ReachLocal. “Use a high-resolution image and feature it in the upper left corner of each of your pages,” she advises. “Also, it’s a good rule of thumb to link your logo back to your home page so that visitors can easily navigate to it.”
“Primary navigation options are typically deployed in a horizontal [menu] bar along the top of the site,” says Brian Gatti, a partner with Inspire Business Concepts, a digital marketing company. Provide “secondary navigation options underneath the primary navigation bar, or in the [left-hand] margin of the site, known as the sidebar.”
Why is intuitive navigation so important? “Confusing navigation layouts will result in people quitting a page rather than trying to figure it out,” Gatti says. So instead of putting links to less important pages–that detract from your call to action or primary information–at the top of your home or landing pages, put “less important links or pieces of information at the bottom of a page in the footer.”